Magdalena: The Perfect Birthday Destination

Another year older, time to celebrate.  Birthdays are pretty easy in our house because they fall back to back.  My husband’s birthday is the day after mine so we always celebrate them as a joint affair.  This year we were constrained by travel plans so we decided on a simple dinner reservation for the two of us at Magdalena before we caught our flight the next morning.

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We decided to start our evening out with cocktails.  I’m still on a Mezcal kick so I ordered the Los Primos which has Mezcal, Watermelon, Cucumber, Lime, and Cointreau.  It was so refreshing.  The smoky mezcal flavor mixed with watermelon was like drinking grilled watermelon. The husband ordered the Arnold Bawlmer which has Earl Grey Infused Bourbon and House Smoked Lemonade.  He is a fan of tea and whiskey so this was a good match.

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It’s impossible to eat at Magdalena without ordering a few of their small plates/appetizers.  You could definitely make a meal out of just ordering a few small plates, but that is not how we decided to roll this night.  I decided to order the Octopus and Scallop Ceviche. It had just the level of acidity that I like and lots of cilantro (my favorite).

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Mr. Meat and Potatoes decided to order the Lobster Roll with Fried Oysters, aioli, and house made chips.  This could have been an entire meal for me.  The roll was huge.  I helped him with the fried oysters, which were perfect.  It’s hard to fry an oyster so that the breading is crispy while the oyster inside still maintains it juiciness.  Very easy to overcook and ruin an oyster.  Despite spending the previous week in Boston, he was not disappointed with the lobster.  Had this been his entire meal, he would have needed more chips because they were delicious.

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As a birthday surprise for us we also received the corn and shrimp risotto.  I had been torn between ordering it and the ceviche and our waiter must have told the chef.  So we were given risotto complements of the chef.  Thanks Chef!  The risotto was oh so creamy.  The corn and shrimp accented by the roasted nuts and chilies was a match made in heaven.  I ate more than my fair share of the dish.  You snooze you lose Mister!

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To accompany our entrees, we both ordered a glass of the Hunt & Harvest Merlot.  Exceptional pours as you can see.

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And now the star of my birthday celebration; the Wild Mushroom Bucatini.  As a special for the evening they were offering black truffles to be added to any dish.  I love truffles and if you know me, I have no shame in admitting that I was probably a truffle pig in a past life.  The truffle pig is my spirit animal.  So this was the perfect surprise for me, bring on the truffles.  To make it even better, what did I find in the mixture of wild mushrooms?  Morels!  Double win and so unexpected after morel hunting season has been over for some time.  I lack the words necessary to describe how much I loved this dish.  I’m thinking of changing the lyrics of My Favorite Things to be about my pasta.  I know they might not always have truffles to sprinkle on top of it but I have no doubt it will hold its own without them.

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If you are keeping track, Mr. Meat and Potatoes already had chips with his appetizer.  So what did he order as his main course?  Steak, because it came with a side of fries.  He decided that for his birthday he wanted chips AND fries.  Who am I to deny him this pleasure?  Since he is often burned by the doneness of the steaks he orders while we are out, he decided to be different when ordering.  He asked it to be cooked “under medium” because he is not often satisfied with what he gets when ordering medium rare.  Well color him shocked when the steak came out a perfect “under medium”.  Not quite medium and not quite medium rare, it danced that delicate line.  He enjoyed his steak along with the sauce and microgreens that came atop it.  The french fries fulfilled his need to eat ALLOFTHEPOTATOES.

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Now for dessert! After such a large meal we had to agree upon one dessert to split since neither of us had the room for individuals.  This isn’t something easily accomplished because he always wants whatever the chocolate cake is and I want something cream-based.  I follow Magdalena on Instagram, as you should also, and they had shared a photo of the most beautiful chocolate cake the day before.  Can you guess what the special was that night?  So for once, we were able to agree on a dessert we both wanted and I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy some chocolate cake.  I’m just not a cake person (don’t judge me) but I loved this cake.  Delicious and beautiful presentation to boot!

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As you can see, our birthday dinner was an overall success.  Also, as another selling point for Magdalena, they offer complementary valet parking.  That is very rare here in Baltimore so it goes to show you that Magdalena really cares about giving you the best experience from start to finish.  Thank you Magdalena for making us feel so special for our birthdays!

– Lindsey

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